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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Need tips on welding aluminium..

Hey folks, my Dad's building an air-plane right now and using alot of aluminium, he knows he has to get it professionally done and logged for any structural welds, but he was hoping that because I managed to pick up the skill before my first bead was complete, that I could learn for the non-critical welds he wants..

so, any tips on how to set the welder up, and how to weld aluminium..

(Oh ya, and it's not, Aluminum, it's said "Al-U-Min-I-Um"
like it's spelt.)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 07:33 AM
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

Well, it might be al-you-min-i-um if you're in the UK, but in the real world it's al-loom-in-um [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

So what kind of machine do you have to work with?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 08:39 AM
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

You're still using the buzz-box, right?

You can only weld AL with DC, not AC. And even at that, it is quite difficult, because it takes the heat away so fast. You've got to preheat, get the temp just right, keep it there, and weld. It is VERY VERY difficult. On an airplane, there are no welds that are not critical. It is a bit different from a jeep--when you're 15,000' up, you don't want a single weld to break. And I'm not busting your chops--I certainly wouldn't want to weld AL for an airplane myself, especially with a buzzbox.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 10:17 AM
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

Absolutely right about the buzz box. Not for the inexperienced. TIG preferably, MIG second choice. Wouldn't touch it with anything else.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 10:50 AM
 
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

There are many ways to weld aluminum. AC and DC. Tig and Mig, and yes even stick. I have done it all with great success, it just depends with what you are comfortable with, everyone has different preferences and technics.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 11:30 AM
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

The way you weld aluminum does not really matter as was posted...but you have to prep it properly...absolutely NO OIL OR GREASE!!!...if there is any oxidation (white residue on the metal..wire brush and grind it off...the cleaner the metal the better the weld...you can gas weld it also...there is a product out called alumiweld and you use a propane torch to weld it... http://virtual-adnet.com/
the link will show you where and how to get it..
post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 12:33 PM
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

It should be noted that you must use stainless steel wire wheels to properly clean the area--and usually some sort of chemical agent. That said, I think mystery mechanic must have missed the fact that we're talking about an airplane here. Propane torches need not apply.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 07:16 PM
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

HHHmmmm , building an air-plane and <font color=red>learn for the non-critical welds he wants</font color=red> , why do those 2 phrases in the same sentence scare me? [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 08:44 PM
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

Yes I did miss the stainless wire brushes...and if you would go to the link...you would see that the military..( airforce included) has been using this for years..with propane torches...at 47,000 lbs tensil strength..that is stronger than most aluminum alloys, and completely compatable.

" If you fail to keep up with progress..You will be left in the dust"
post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Need tips on welding aluminium..

My dad wanted me to go and get a welding certificate.. I told him.. "Ya sure, give me 6 months and I'll be living somewhere I can actually find a course"

So he said it would be great if I could fab up some brackets for stuff like window latches, instruments, and other non critical stuff..

I know that nothing in an air-plane is not critical, but I don't think my dad is too worried about his GPS or something falling out of its place..

Al-U-Min-I-Um..

say it like it's spelt.
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